2012 Owners Magazine
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.
“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”
In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane.
As a pair of 26-foot steel beams were hoisted high above Manhattan on April 30, the crowd below spoke of resilience, hope and remembrance.
One World Trade Center had just hit a height of 1,271 feet, making it the city’s tallest building. Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said in a press conference that the building will “anchor Lower Manhattan and its rebirth for many generations to come.”
But tourists and tristate residents aren’t the only ones noticing the change in the city skyline. A number of commercial property owners are looking to the tower and other developments as a hopeful bellwether for the future, despite what most analysts still describe as a stagnant market.
The numbers speak for themselves. Real estate brokers leased 12.9 million square feet through July 31, 2012, a 28 percent drop from the 17.9 million square feet inked during the same period in 2011, according to a CBRE report. Vacancy sat at 7.5 percent, no change from a year earlier.
In one of the largest deals to hit New York City, not to mention Lower Manhattan, in 2011 thus far, Oppenheimer & Co., the national financial services firm, made good on long-time rumors yesterday by finally announcing its buzzed-about 270,000-square-foot, 15-year transaction at 85 Broad Street, the old Goldman Sachs HQ that The Observer profiled in 2009.
When I profiled Goldman Sachs’ longtime headquarters, when the firm was moving into its shiny new skyscraper at 200 West Street, Goldman veterans unanimously said the soon-to-be-old tower didn’t mean anything to them. “It’s just a building when it comes right down to it,” said 91-year-old George Doty, the Goldman Sachs managing partner who was Read More